Ontario Orders Safety Improvements at Peninsula Alloy

April 16, 2008
Molten-metal accident injured one worker in March

The Ontario's Ministry of Labour has directed a Stevensville, ON, foundry to address a series of workplace safety violations following an explosion and fire on March 26, which seriously injured one worker.

Reports indicate that a furnace operator was splashed with molten metal after an explosion occurred, apparently the result of moisture contacting the molten metal bath. The blast ignited a fire, and caused some damage to the facility.

Peninsula Alloy Inc. is a job shop producing stainless and alloy steel and ductile iron castings in low and medium volumes, ranging in weight from 15 to 15,000 lb. Its products include valves, sheaves, gears, bearings, pump casings and impellers, motors, generators, compressors, rolling mill guides, railway equipment, and telecom equipment.

The foundry operates two tilting high-frequency coreless induction furnaces, each with a capacity of 3,750 lb, and two medium-frequency coreless induction furnaces, each sized at 8000 lb.

The Ministry of Labour ordered Peninsula Alloy to ensure that workers exposed to hot objects, hot liquid, or molten metal are protected by shields, screens, or similar barriers; that materials charged to open furnaces are free of ice or moisture; and that workers wear footwear and other protective clothing suitable to their tasks.

In addition, the ministry directed the foundry to develop procedures to prevent moisture from contacting molten metal; to ensure reasonable controls are in place to prevent molten metal spills; and that the plant is outfitted with a quick-acting deluge shower.

Ministry of Labour spokesman Bruce Skeaff stated that Peninsula Alloy had complied with the first four directives.